I have a question about the word "notify" when it is used in the passive voice. Please see the examples below:

1) We will be notified of subsequent updates.

2-1) Subsequent updates will be notified of.

2-2) Subsequent updates will be notified.

Sentence 1 is perhaps the basic passive form of "notify". However, when it comes to the form of sentences 2, it's quite confusing.

Although I think the word is supposed to be used like (2-1), any occurrences found in google have the form of (2-2).

Can anybody tell me why? Actually, "updates" are not persons who are informed but things to be reported.


1 Answer 1


First, (2-1) is simply wrong. There is no way that that can be parsed as grammatical. So I'm going to discount that and simply have examples (1) and (2), which you've numbered (2-2).

Your other examples might be better expressed as

  1. You will be notified of subsequent updates
  2. Subsequent updates will be notified to you.

Both are licensed:

Inform (someone) of something, typically in a formal or official manner.
‘you will be notified of our decision as soon as possible’

Give notice of or report (something) formally or officially.
‘births and deaths are required by law to be notified to the Registrar’

Oxford via Lexico

The active forms of your examples are

  1. [We] will notify you of subsequent updates
  2. [We] will notify subsequent updates to you.

Thus the object of notify (the patient in passive forms) can be either the recipient or the notification itself.

  • Thank you! Now I see how it works perfectly!
    – ddffbb
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 11:34

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